Rumour: RIM in the market for Millennial Media buyout

Firm looking for an ad network

Rumour: RIM in the market for Millennial Media buyout
Following in the footsteps of Google and Apple, the Wall Street Journal reports RIM is reportedly in the market to buy an ad network, with Millennial Media the number one target.

The paper's sources claim the two parties have been holding talks in recent months, with the proposed buyout on hold do to a disagreement over price.

Marked by millions

The report suggests Millennial – buoyed by the sales of rival ad networks over the course of the last 12 months – is asking for somewhere in the region of $400 million to $500 million, with RIM unwilling to fork out such a fee.

Such a figure isn't outside the realms of possibility, in truth. 

Google acquired AdMob for $750 million at the end of 2009, while Apple purchased Quattro Wireless for a reported $250 million in January this year.

However, the suggestion is that, despite the obvious buyout benefits, executives at RIM believe both its rivals paid over the odds for their respective fingers in the ad network pie.

Independence love song

Any buyout would also go against Millennial Media's stance on acquisitions, with chief executive Paul Palmieri having told the paper at the start of August that the firm would prefer to make a public offering.

"We are on the path of being an independent company," he stated.

Nonetheless, Millennial Media would represent an interesting purchase for RIM, with the network's ads reaching 63 million mobile web users in the US – 81 percent of the market – according to research firm Nielsen.

It would also make RIM a player in advertising on both Android and iPhone, with Apple's supposed insistence that all ad networks on iOS be independent – a protocol that would block both Google owned AdMob and, indeed, a RIM owned Millennial – somewhat missing in action.

[source: Wall Street Journal]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.